EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — All employees of the Diocese of El Paso, as well as those who perform church ministries, are now required to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“For the sake of our brothers and sisters, I am requiring all those who are employed by the Church and all those who perform Church ministries, including, but not limited to, catechists and Eucharistic ministers to be vaccinated,” Bishop Mark Seitz said in a letter dated Aug. 6 to members of the church.
Seitz said that those who cannot get vaccinated may seek an exemption.
The letter went on to say that those who attend Mass and most other events are not required to be vaccinated because it would exclude children under 12, who cannot yet be vaccinated. But masks are required for unvaccinated parishioners ages 3 and older.
The decision was made for mandatory vaccinations due to a resurgence in COVID cases because of the Delta variant and because “the Church has a responsibility to do all in its power to keep others safe.”
Seitz said that employees and Eucharistic members should be willing to do what they can to protect parishioners and each other.
“No one has the right to work for the Church or to carry out a particular ministry,” Seitz wrote. “Yet, I would certainly hope that Church workers and ministers are willing to follow these prudent directives in order to serve the Church — out of love for God and charity for the people they serve. Refusing to serve because of disagreeing with a protocol is a sad commentary on one’s level of commitment to the Body of Christ.”